Finals Week As Told By Schmidt

Finals Week As Told By Schmidt

Schmidt Happens

Finals week is finally upon us. The time every college student has dreaded all semester and there is no avoiding it. Let the stress, tears, and sleepless nights commence. Here's Finals Week as Told by Schmidt.

1. When you walk into the library and see that there are no more spots available because every freshman decided to start using the library now.

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2. You run into someone from your class and they ask you how prepared you are for the final.

3. Your first meltdown begins...

4. And then you get a call from your parents asking you why you've been so on edge lately

5. When you're three coffees deep at 2AM and believe everything will be okay even though you still haven't studied.

6. The day has arrived and it's time to take your first final so you give yourself a quick pep talk.

7. When you are the first one to finish the final early because you didn't study.

SEE ALSO: Finals Week As Told By Dwight Schrute

8. Trying to pack while studying.

9. And then you start wishing you didn't wait until the last minute to pack because now there is no way your stuff will fit into your car.

10. When you get your first grade back.

11. And you have to tell your parents how you did in the class.

12. When all of your roommates are done with their finals and you still have one left.

13. But then your time has finally come and you have finished your last final as well.

14. And you realize you have survived yet another hell week.

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To Those Who Don't Understand The Special Needs Population

They are more than their disability.

“Good for you, it takes a special person to do that. I could never do that." That's often the response you'll get if you're working in this field. But honestly, it doesn't make me any better of a person than someone going into accounting. I'm not someone who could sit behind a desk all day, but someone out there is. No, not everyone can work with this population, but not everyone can work with money and finance. I'm doing what I love, just as you are.

I love kids. I'm always the one who ends up with a mini crowd of them at family parties. It might be because I'm the oldest, or it could just be my nature. Regardless, it's something I don't get tired of easily. At a local public pool, when I was very young, I would sit and wait for the “people on the bus". I could never understand why parents would pull their kids out of the pool when they got there, they were the best people to play with! I would sit patiently with my mom as they wheeled down into the pool. Then, with a smile as her permission, I would jump into the water and play and talk to them for hours. I saw people turn away from them, or make rude comments, and it made me want to play with them even more. I knew they were a little different than me (they got to ride a bus here and some of them sat in a cool chair in the water) but they still wanted to play the same games as me, and they were always happy and laughing.

Happiness. That's my favorite thing about this population. They feel emotion in a way that so many of us lack. When something is funny, they laugh. And I mean, throw your head back laugh until you're crying, laugh. There isn't a feeling in this world like the one you get when you see the sparkle in their eye when something is wonderful or funny. They don't see “different". They don't see disabled, skin color or religion. They see people as they are, good or bad (they will let you know loud and clear which one you are too). That's something I'll always admire about this population. They are so happy and egger once the open up. I'm not always their teacher or mentor in these situations, but they are mine. They teach you patients and to always smile. And they give the best, most honest advice. You might spend a week or two on the same lesson, but watching them learn and understand makes it worth it. To spend a week on the same lesson, and finally see the click, the missing piece of the puzzle piece fitting in, makes every single struggle worth it.

But with happiness come sadness and anger. And like their happiness, they feel it with their whole body. Anger might come with a thrown punch and kick or biting and spiting, probably all the things you wish you could do when you're mad. But that's something you understand is not socially acceptable, and they may not. Don't give moms that rude glare or comment when you're standing in the grocery store. Understand there is a difference between what you call a “brat" and a child with a disability. When something is triggered, it is shot hard, and it can't be bought or bribed off. It takes time, patients and understanding to calm them down.

Don't think that just because they are in a wheel chair or they are in the special education classroom, they don't understand. Just because they are in a wheel chair doesn't mean they are functioning at a lower level than their age. On the other hand, just because they are functioning at a level that is below their current age doesn't mean they don't understand, or can't learn. There are 13 disabilities under IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), but the severaty and needs can differ in every single one of them. Treat them with the same kindness and respect as you would anyone else. They are “there". They DO understand. And they can feel judgment just as you can. They can do almost anything, just as you can.

As my favorite saying goes: “The only true disability in life is a bad attitude."

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Pop Culture's 'Soft Hero' And The Slow Death Of The 'Lovable Misogynist'

Jerks with a Heart of Gold are taking a backseat in modern fandom.


There has been a noticeable shift in our male characters recently. Obviously, the change hasn't reached every piece of media, but popular fiction and audiences alike seem to be gravitating toward a different kind of male hero than they used to. And I have been watching this change eagerly.

A certain type of male character has permeated nearly every piece of popular fiction in recent decades, one the admirable Lindsay Ellis branded the "Lovable Misogynist" in a 2015 IFC article on the subject. This type of man hates and/or objectifies women casually, either to appear cool or as a wink and a nudge to the men in the audience to appear relatable to them. He sexualizes the women in his world constantly, is either awkward and pining in order to empathize with his intended audience or portrayed as desirable and suave as these men would like to see themselves and are often rewarded with a woman who has, somehow, fallen for him by the end.

I want to narrow that definition for the sake of this article, though, to a specific brand of Lovable Misogynist: The Sexist Jerk with a Heart of Gold of the mid-late 2000s. This man definitely existed before that timeframe, but he was everywhere from 2004 to 2009. He is a sarcastic, aloof, usually scruffy womanizer whose humor mostly derives from jokes made at the expense of others. But don't worry if he puts you off, because underneath it all, he's sad, so it's okay. His history is just so tragic, don't you feel for him? Don't you see that underneath all that roughage, he has a reason?

This type of man so, so easily scams his way into becoming a fan favorite every time and is, without a doubt, my least favorite type of character. Think Dean Winchester in Supernatural (2005), Sawyer from Lost (2004), or Tony Stark in Iron Man (2008). These men who thrive on sarcasm and sex to hide whatever tortured past they believe justifies them acting like this. This trope is so prevalent, it even pops up in places you would never expect it. James Kirk does a complete 180 from his original characterization in the Star Trek reboot of 2009 to fit this model, disrespecting women and throwing insults left and right. Leo Valdez in the 2009 Rick Riordan series Heroes of Olympus is downright mean to people who are supposed to be his friends and chases every girl who enters his line of vision, but he's secretly sad, so we should think he's funny and somehow deserving of a girlfriend in the end. This trope is literally everywhere.

And you can just feel the writers asking you to love these men not in spite of these traits, but because of them. You should think it's cool when Tony Stark zooms in on pictures of Natasha in lingerie in Iron Man 2. It's charming when Dean Winchester puts down Ruby or Bella or any other woman who dares to match him in Supernatural. They are who men should want to be, who women should want to be with.

Those two men, specifically, are why I'm choosing to focus on the 2000s, though. Having been a fan of shows like Supernatural and still being trapped in Marvel's clutches, I have had the privilege of watching their fanbases fall completely out of love with this type of character and watched the writers of these men attempting to grapple with the fact that from that messy break up rose an entirely different type of man: the Soft Hero.

Unlike Nice Guy characters who are often the Lovable Misogynist in disguise, the Soft Hero is actually a nice guy. He is gentle, kind-hearted, compassionate, and genuinely funny. He is often in the company of women and respects them deeply, never making a single objectifying comment or questioning her abilities as a woman. If he has a tragic backstory, it is used to actually develop his character rather than as an excuse for his behavior. He is a type of hero fanboys historically brush off in favor of their macho counterparts (ex: Luke Skywalker vs Han Solo), but one that is sorely needed.

And, luckily, he finds himself the male lead in more and more films nowadays. Finn in the Star Wars sequel trilogy (2015-present), Raleigh Becket in Pacific Rim (2013), Thor in Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Steve Trevor in Wonder Woman (2017), and, as Ellis points out in her article, Max in the Mad Max reboot (2015). This type of man is seeping his way into the pop culture zeitgeist, and I welcome him with open arms. In fact, many fans have. The entire Marvel fandom refocused on Thor when Ragnarok came out and has been slowly leaving Tony Stark in the dust (especially after Civil War). New characters that manage to maintain the Lovable Misogynist trope in 2018, like Mon-El in Supergirl or every role Chris Pratt has landed since Parks and Rec ended, have been exposed as tired and boring in comparison.

The issue with this for male writers, though, is not only that they have to actually confront this trope. It is also that Tony Stark and Dean Winchester still exist. Supernatural is still going strong fourteen seasons in and Tony Stark continues to be a centerpiece for Marvel. And the best part is you can see them floundering, trying to combat the draining audience interest in heroes like this. So, how do you address a flaw so great in a changing pop culture landscape?

It would make sense to use this as a chance to introduce character development. Let your characters learn and grow, not only to save them from this slow death but to make the men who idolize them recognize the faults in them. In the case of Supernatural, though, the writers have been trying to simply ignore that founding aspect of its characters. Dean is still an incessant flirt, but somewhere around season 7, he stops insulting women while he does it. He is still sarcastic and snarky, but more and more hints at his softer side have flooded his character over the years until the snark became a thin mask over a gentler character. But this was never actual character development, it was the writers shying away from the part of Dean that was so wrapped up in suave misogyny so that they wouldn't have to face it.

Marvel, on the other hand, is a little more complicated. Some of the change in Tony Stark over the years comes from actual character development. He has been genuinely shaped by his experiences to the point where he is a completely different person than he was in the first Iron Man. He appreciates the women in his life far more than he did in his early movies, though that's not an issue that is ever specifically addressed in the films so I don't know that I'd count it as a part of his character development. And yet, Marvel continues to put him on the wrong side of things. He creates Ultron in Age of Ultron. In Civil War, he brings a literal child into battle, attacks Bucky fully knowing that Bucky had no control over the deaths of his parents, and fights to put the Avengers in the government's control. In Spider-Man: Homecoming, he tries to keep Peter from doing exactly what Tony brought him into the superhero world to do. It's almost like they know they need to either bring him down for his faults or raise him up above them, and are stuck between the two. These male writers quite literally do not know how to go about engaging with this character trope now that his time has passed.

The Lovable Misogynist is dying. It's a slow death, for sure, but he is on his way out. What will rise to take his place is yet to be seen, since the Soft Hero doesn't exactly have solid footing just yet, but we can only hope this recent development forces writers to take a more critical eye to the men they populate their fictional worlds with. Or at least put an end to Supernatural.

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